Review: Summer Brothers (2018)

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Summer Brothers (2018)

Directed by: Mustafa Duygulu | 50 minutes | drama, short film | Actors: Meric Yildiz, Vefa Ocal, Yiğit Ege Yazar, Ali Efe Atasoy, Ahsen Eroglu

The last day of the holiday. Tomorrow, sixteen-year-old Bora will return to the Netherlands with his father. One more day to enjoy the Turkish sun. To be with his cousins ​​living in Turkey. To swoon at all the feminine beauty. Cheerful Middle Eastern music plays in the background. The color palette is warm, even sultry. One last day of vacation that you hope is forever. Life is Beautiful.

Yet there is some discomfort lurking about. The girl who has been staying in the hotel room next to his for years and whom he secretly has a crush on all this time, sees no more than a good friend in him. Her heart belongs to someone else. The fact that his cousins ​​do have success with the opposite sex does not make him happy. Being overweight doesn’t make life any easier. The difficult relationship with his father, a mother figure is absent, completes the feeling of discomfort.

The completely Turkish spoken ‘Summer Brothers’ shows in a well-considered way that the Dutch film does not stop at the national borders. This is a good thing, given the multicultural character of the Netherlands. Film certainly benefits from a certain limitlessness, because it opens our eyes to the strange, which in turn holds up a mirror to our own existence.

For example, the story of the Turkish Bora can feel strange at first glance. Until it turns out that, just like any adolescent, he has to deal with feelings and fears. Infatuation, exclusion and pushy mature; it is of all times and all cultures. However, there is more going on in the background. Because the dreamy Bora finds it difficult to connect with his peers living in Turkey, he never feels completely at home there. But going back to the gray Netherlands is no more an easy task. Thus the good fat man ends up in a split between the country of his ancestors and his current homeland.

Bora falls between two stools because in Turkish eyes he is a Dutchman and from a Dutch perspective he is seen as a Turk. Whether that is an objectionable conflict is irrelevant. What ‘Summer Brothers’ effectively does is make that inner clash palpable, resulting in an understanding of Boras’ situation. Because without any understanding, any discussion about something like nationality is doomed from the outset. Although the course in ‘Zomerbroeders’ is not equally logical everywhere, the film manages to lay down an interesting thematic foundation in roughly forty minutes.

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